There is nothing that makes you feel more like a mom than taking care of a sick kid. It can be exhausting and grueling, but there's often beauty to be found in these moments, too. Facebook's Barefoot Mum Kelli Bannister found this out after her 5-year-old son Taj snapped this amazing moment of her cradling her sick baby girl in the shower.
"I was debating whether or not to post this," the 30-year-old photographer and blogger wrote on The Barefoot Mom Facebook page. "But this is real, raw, and one of the absolute worst parts of Motherhood that at some stage, we will all go through!! The part nothing or no-one can prepare you for, the part where you would give every ounce of your entire being to make your poor baby feel ok again. Every cry and every tear makes your heart break just that little bit more and your only wish is that it was you instead."
We've all had those moments, right? My little one just recovered from a 13-day bout with chicken pox (yes he was vaccinated), and as I watched him battle a fever that left him lethargic and fighting—day in, day out—against scratching the 200-plus spots that covered his body, I would have given anything to be able to take away all of his suffering and put it on me instead.
But that's not the way it works. Instead we dig in our heels, no matter how tired and sad and hopeless we feel, no matter how hard being a mom suddenly seems. And that's when, if you're lucky, the magic happens.
"This morning as Summer was coughing, being sick and working herself up into a frenzy, my Mumma instincts kicked in and I put us both in the shower," Bannister explains. "With the soothing sound of running water and the warmth touching our skin, she was calm within minutes......then, my 5 year old came in and snapped this!! Such a raw emotive moment of Motherhood in all her glory." And one that quickly went viral, racking up close to 30,000 reactions over on Facebook and almost 1,000 comments.
Meanwhile, Bannister told The Daily Mail she actually forgot her son had even taken the shot! "Not until I got Summer to sleep (laying on me on the couch), did I remember that Taj had taken some photos," she said. "When I saw this particular image I was actually quite taken back at how real and raw it was... moment of pure exhaustion but an incredible bond of unconditional love between a mother and child."
While some on social media have questioned the image's validity, Bannister remains refreshingly level-headed about the whole thing. "I know when something goes so viral, there will ALWAYS be keyboard warriors trying to turn something so beautiful into a negative," she wrote in a recent post. "But I'm a REAL warrior as is each and every one of you beautiful souls who wipe away tears & keep going, not because you want to, but you HAVE to!"